Building your own raised beds is a great project anytime of the year. Raised flower beds are a great option if you have drainage problems or bad soil. The soil in your raised bed will warm up sooner in the spring which allows you to plant your cool weather vegetables and herbs sooner. My husband, Alfred, made me four raised beds for my herb garden.
I had asked for a little more room for my herbs. We picked out a space that we thought would get enough sun once a few trees were cut down. I thought that he might get to it in a week or two, but when I looked outside that afternoon, I saw trees falling. I learned at that moment that I have to be careful, and sure, about what I ask for. I might just get it!
Today I have a beautiful raised herb garden that bring hours of enjoyment from growing and crafting with my herbs.
Raised flower beds can be made out of landscaping timbers, railroad ties, rock walls, or boards. If your soil is bad like it is here in Middle Tennessee, think about making your bed higher in order to give the plants plenty of soil to grow in.
If you have rich soil that is easy to work in, you may be able to just sink your timbers or railroad ties down a few inches into the soil.
10 Tips For Building a Raised Flower Bed
- Pick an area that will get the right amount of sunlight for the plants you want to grow. Most herbs and perennials require full sun. This means 5-6 hours of sun a day.
- Once your area is cleared, measure the total area that you want to plant in.
- Get your grid paper and pencil out and draw the shapes that you want your raised beds to be. We divided our space into four basic rectangles. You can also to divide your space into triangles or squares.
- Ideally, raised beds should be about 4-5 feet wide. This way you can reach the center very easily.Now that you know the rule, feel free to break it like we did and make your area larger.Since we have plenty of room, and our garden is more for display, our raised beds are 10′ by 20.’ We have put a stepping stone path in each one to make it easier to see and to reach everything.
I think these paths add to the raised beds character and make visitors want to meander among the herbs. This way they can enjoy the plants up close. Remember, it’s your garden. Have fun and do what you want!
- It’s good to have 2-3 foot paths between the raised flower beds for pathways and to allow wheelbarrows to come and go during to planting season.
- Go ahead and lay out your design with string and see how you like it. Make adjustments if needed.
- Now that you have everything ready, time to buy your wood! As mentioned earlier, raised beds can be made out of landscaping timbers, railroad ties, rock walls, or cedar boards. Look for something that will not rot. Do not use pressure treated wood though, the chemicals in it can harm your plants.
- If your soil is bad like it is here in Middle Tennessee, think about making your bed higher in order to give the plants plenty of soil to grow in. Anywhere from 8 to 12 inches is recommended.
- When you construct your beds, be sure everything is square and level.
- Put in some good soil and your ready to garden!
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